Jason Kenny refreshed and targeting Tokyo Olympics after almost quitting – The Guardian

The six-times Olympic champion Jason Kenny plans to race on to the Tokyo 2020 Games after previously contemplating retirement. The 29-year-old Bolton rider won three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics to take his tally to six gold and one silver, level with the British record holder and former team-mate Sir Chris Hoy.

Kenny married the four-times Olympic champion Laura Kenny, nee Trott, in September 2016 and the couple had their first child, Albert, last month. And, after coming close to quitting racing, Kenny is now ready to commit to his fourth Olympic Games.

“To be honest, after Rio, I’d pretty much made my decision to walk away from cycling,” said Kenny, who will make his return to racing at the Revolution Series event in Manchester on 6 January. “But after taking a year out, getting married and having our first child, I felt refreshed. Before I knew it, I was training again.

“I feel like I’m 18 and starting all over again. Competing at Revolution in January will be the first step on the path to Tokyo.”

Kenny’s post-Rio break is the first time he has had an extended sabbatical since emerging at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Kenny won his first Olympic gold in the team sprint aged 20 alongside Hoy in 2008.

He added silver in the individual event behind the Scot, who in Beijing became the first Briton in 100 years to win three gold medals at one Games. Kenny matched that achievement in Rio by winning the team and individual sprints and the keirin. He also won team sprint and individual sprint gold medals at London 2012.

Kenny said: “Tokyo is a long way off at the moment and I’ve never really been motivated by records. I’ve just always tried to be the fastest and best I can be. Having said that, to win more gold medals than any other British Olympian would be an amazing achievement.”

Stephen Park, the British Cycling performance director, said: “Jason’s career and record at Olympic Games speak for themselves, and the fact that he is now targeting a fourth Games is excellent news not just for him as an individual, but for the entire team.”

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